Create Transformative Student Learning Opportunities

Our 2016 Highlights

Embedded in student and campus life, the Okanagan Library is integrated in transformative teaching and learning efforts, providing essential services, spaces, and resources for student success. 2016 continued our commitment to extensive and enhanced public services training for Library staff, including topics such as inclusive language, conflict resolution, and preventing illness and injury. In addition, the Library reviewed its access services models, and investigated emerging service delivery methods and trends. The results of both the Access Services Review and environmental scan of emerging services are currently being used to inform a service realignment being considered within the context of the new Teaching and Learning Centre project. In 2017, the Library will investigate its success in responding to the needs of UBC Okanagan’s international student population.

How would you rate the overall quality of the service provided by the library? (Results from 2016 LibQUAL+ Survey) Grade (out of 100%)
Faculty 84%
Graduate Students 83.2%
Undergraduate Students 82.2%

Optimal access to library resources and services

The Library’s single service desk handled over 36,700 individual questions and transactions over the past 12 months; overall, the Okanagan Library represents just over 30% of all public service desk interactions for the UBC Library system. Almost 2,000 additional in-depth research consultations took place during the same period through referral to professional librarians.

UBC Okanagan Library circulation represents the third highest audio-visual and print volume circulation count in the UBC Library system, with over 33,000 transactions annually. These physical collections represent a robust, active working collection of approximately 204,250 volumes, with reliance on the Point Grey campus primarily for access to multiple copies and deep research collections.

UBC Library Collections Expenditures & Circulation of Physical Items (2003-2015)

Today, 82% of UBC Library collections funds are spent on licensing or acquiring electronic resources, reflecting the transformation in scholarly dissemination. Loans of physical materials continue to decline while use of electronic content grows, underlining a shift in usage patterns underway for more than a decade.

Across both campuses, UBC Library has adopted an e-preferred purchasing policy, which provides increased online access to materials to both campuses.

Expanded access to specialized and local collections

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections RoomAs of December 31, 2016, the Okanagan Special Collections (OSC) contains 2,617 print volumes and continues to grow. This collection, formally launched in 2014, represents a significant collection of materials related to the Okanagan region and has attracted community attention as a regional research hub.

Digitization of two of OSC’s archival collections is currently underway, with nearly 2,000 digital assets created and our first digital collection, the Archibald Murchie Collection, loaded to UBC Library’s Open Collections platform in 2016.

With this year’s addition of UBC Okanagan’s first term-appointed archivist, OSC programming will expand in 2017 to coordinate campus records management and institutional archival efforts and launch of the donor-funded Okanagan Region Historical Digitization Project.

Public Art Program

Part of the Library’s portfolio, the campus Public Art program aims to provide a compelling and distinctive collection of art of regional, national and international significance that will educate and inspire, engage and stimulate, and enrich the campus experience of the university community, alumni, and our many visitors.

A major collaboration of note was the Centennial Initiatives Fund (CIF) exhibition “Alumni Then and Now,” held in association with the Lake Country Art Gallery in April and May. In addition to the exhibition, a 90-page catalogue was produced to provide information on and by the artists, as well as to offer curatorial perspectives. A panel discussion with the artists was also organized.

The Public Art program also provided criteria and administrative structure for the selection process of the CIF art legacy project that resulted in the UBC Okanagan courtyard installation of a sculpture by Les Louis. Off-campus, the program has offered information and guidance to the Interior Health Association (IHA) for the establishment of an art program in their new building in downtown Kelowna. This is an important addition to existing relationships with the Kelowna Art Gallery and the City of Kelowna’s Public Art department.

The Public Art Advisory Committee reviewed and approved twelve deaccessions from the collection of items that no longer meet the criteria for retention (for example, they could not be maintained or restored). The Committee also reviewed and approved twenty-one new acquisitions with a total value of over $80,000. One of these is another large outdoor work scheduled for installation in the spring. 

New approaches to instructional program delivery

During the period covered by this report, librarians taught nearly 200 instructional sessions, many of which were integrated directly into course content. Topics ranged from subject-specific information search and retrieval strategies to sessions on copyright, scholarly communication and publishing, research data management, performing systematic and literature reviews, critical evaluation of information, and effective integration of published research into academic writing, including appropriate use of citation styles.

“Specialty librarians have been the best resource. They have been readily accessible and provided excellent knowledge and assistance. Best service the library offers.”
– Doctoral Student, Health Sciences / Social Work

TeachingIn an effort to develop more programmatic, curriculum-driven approaches to information literacy (IL), this year the Library performed a content analysis of its existing instructional materials and sessions, created a curriculum map to assist in identifying courses where integration of IL concepts would be of maximum benefit, and reviewed the literature relating to best practices in implementation of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education. This serves to prepare for the arrival of a newly hired Learning and Curriculum Support Librarian, who will begin her appointment on March 1, 2017 and whose mandate will include planning and development of digital learning objects (e.g.: tutorials, learning modules), design of effective assessment models for IL initiatives, and engagement with key units and individuals (e.g.: Centre for Teaching and Learning, Director, Flexible Learning and Special Projects) to advance the Library’s IL projects and support on campus.

Writing and Research Services Unit

The Library’s Writing and Research Services unit provides access to a suite of services that support undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty members in the areas of scholarly writing, publishing, and other critical scholarly communication constructs including copyright and academic integrity. Combined, the undergraduate Writing and Research Centre (WRC) and the Centre for Scholarly Communication (CSC, which serves graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty members) held over 2,450 individual appointments and 43 workshops/boot camps in 2016. WRS also provided classroom-embedded sessions that reached over 600 undergraduate students and 265 graduate students.

The Academic Integrity Matters (AIM) program, launched in 2015, is intended to address, on an individualized basis, what academic integrity means, teach students to properly credit and cite research, and provide strategies for ensuring responsible academic writing. Faculty members, teaching assistants, and writing consultants may refer a student to the program; in instances where students are referred by their instructor, AIM staff can provide progress reports and feedback with student consent. An extremely successful pilot year resulted in 44 consultations, and a decision to maintain the program. The Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences has embedded AIM in its student success initiatives, and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies is taking steps to do the same in 2017. In addition, many instructors have invited the AIM Coordinator to their undergraduate and/or graduate classes to teach about academic integrity and how to integrate resources into papers.

“I am presently working as Assistant Professor [at university] …. I would just like to say thanks for helping me in publishing my PhD work in great journals. Recently, the last one got accepted…. You will be glad to see the presentation of my work and the ranks of the journals. Many, many thanks again. Your teaching will help me for the rest of my life.”

A number of WRS initiatives are planned for 2017, including pilots for summer opening hours for the WRC, a PhD co-op placement for the CSC, and a thesis formatting service developed in partnership between the CSC and the College of Graduate Studies. In addition, the WRC has developed the resources necessary to apply for College Reading and Language Association (CRLA) certification, and anticipates doing so within the next year.

Help at the Library DeskThe Library has long served as a campus hub for teaching and learning, providing essential services, spaces, and resources for student success. The 2014-15 focus on service assessment and development resulted in enhanced public services staff training that transcended traditional skills training in reference and referral, expanding to include topics such as equity and inclusion, student health and wellness, indigenous knowledge organization, and intercultural understanding. In addition, the Library initiated revisions to its first year instruction program in response to student and faculty feedback on a flexible learning pilot. 2016-17 will bring a review of emerging customer service delivery methods and trends to consider.

Access to library resources and services

Fresearchor many library users, the first point of human interaction occurs at the service desk located on the main floor. Once separate, traditional reference and circulation service points, this merged single service desk – open at virtually all hours the Library is open – handled over 33,000 individual questions and transactions in the past 18 months; overall, the Okanagan Library represents just over 25% of all public service desk interactions for the UBC Library system. An additional 2,790 in-depth research consultations took place during the same period through referral to professional librarians.

In Spring 2015, the Library undertook an evaluation of its public service offerings. Overall data from user surveys and focus group discussions conducted as part of this review indicated that users are very satisfied with the assistance they receive at the Library’s service desk. Students and faculty perceived desk staff to be knowledgeable and willing to help, and describe being assisted by different people depending on the question asked, finding practices to be reasonable and effective. This is reassuring in light of specific efforts to streamline internal referral processes, making them more seamless to users. From students, there was broad agreement that desk staff are generally friendly and helpful, and that they all seem to “know their stuff.” From faculty members, the perception was that Library staff go “above and beyond” to help, and several mentioned that when a staff member cannot answer a question they find someone who can.

The review generated eight recommendations, including suggestions for changes to data-gathering practices, additional staff training opportunities, modifications to the physical environment at the service desk to improve both ergonomics and visibility (i.e.: signage and marketing), and campus outreach opportunities. All of these recommendations have either been implemented or integrated into 2016-17 strategic initiatives.

UBC Okanagan Library circulation represents the third highest audio-visual and print volume circulation count in the UBC Library system, with over 34,000 transactions annually.

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These physical collections represent a robust, active working collection of approximately 210,600 volumes, with reliance on the Point Grey campus primarily for access to multiple copies and deep research collections.

expenditures

untitledToday, 78% of UBC Library collections funds are spent on licensing or acquiring electronic resources, reflecting the importance of online learning and research. Loans of physical materials continue to decline while use of electronic content grows, underlining a shift in usage patterns underway for more than a decade.

Across both campuses, UBC Library has adopted an e-preferred purchasing policy, which provides increased online access to materials to both campuses; UBC’s electronic collection contains well over two million items.

Expanded access to specialized and local collections 

Library Special Collections and Archives

In November 2014, the Okanagan Library, with the financial support of the Vancouver Foundation, opened a new Special Collections reading room on its second floor, creating an appropriate space for the storage, display and use of regional materials. At present, there are 2,193 print volumes in Okanagan Special Collections, representing a significant collection of materials related to the Okanagan region.

In 2014, the Library also launched its Special Collections and Archives program, and has now accepted a total of three archival collections: the Simpson Family fonds, the Doug and Joyce Cox Research Collection, and the International Woodworkers of America (IWA) Union Collection. Collectively, these represent over 21 metres of photographs and textual materials relevant to our local history and development.

Over the past 18 months, finding aids have been created for the Simpson Family fonds and Doug and Joyce Cox Research Collection; these may be searched or browsed online at http://rbscarchives.library.ubc.ca/. Student employees are digitizing subsets of these collections so that images will be accessible as part of UBC’s Open Collections initiative. These digital collections are planned for launch in 2016.

Public Art Collection

Part of the Library’s portfolio, the campus Public Art Program aims to provide a compelling and distinctive collection of art of regional, national and international significance that will educate and inspire, engage and stimulate, and enrich the campus experience of the university community, alumni, and our many visitors.

In 2014-15, the Art Curator facilitated several collaborative projects, including the loan of Jack Shadbolt’s Primavera, currently installed in the University Centre Ballroom, and the creation of a space in the Administration building entitled “stART the Conversation” to display and invite discussion on controversial works of art held in the UBC Okanagan public art collection (for more information about this initiative, see http://library.ok.ubc.ca/about-us/public-art-collection/start-the-conversation/). The Curator was also the successful co-recipient of UBC Centennial Initiatives funding for an exhibition entitled Alumni Then and Now, which will consist of works from the UBC Okanagan Public Art Collection in combination with recent or new works by the same individuals now working as established artists. This exhibition will be held in Spring 2016 at the Lake Country Art Gallery. 

Innovative approaches to instructional program delivery

During the period covered by this report, librarians taught over 300 instructional sessions, many of which were integrated directly into course content. Topics ranged from subject-specific information search and retrieval strategies to sessions on copyright, scholarly communication and publishing, performing systematic and literature reviews, critical evaluation of information, and effective integration of published research into academic writing, including appropriate use of citation styles.

In Fall 2015, the Library, through its Writing and Research Services unit, introduced a new program to provide structured campus support for academic integrity. The Academic Integrity Matters (AIM) program curriculum addresses, on an individualized basis, what academic integrity means, teaches students to properly credit and cite research, and provides strategies for ensuring responsible academic writing. Faculty members, teaching assistants, and writing consultants may refer a student to the program; in instances where students are referred by their instructor, AIM staff can provide progress reports and feedback with student consent.

The past year has also begun a process of developing more programmatic, curriculum-driven approaches to information literacy (IL) instruction. A Library team is currently performing content analysis of existing Library instructional materials and sessions, creating a curriculum map to assist in identifying courses where integration of IL concepts would be of maximum benefit, and reviewing the literature relating to best practices in implementation of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education. This team is also in the process of further enhancing the existing first-year English instruction practices for Fall 2016.

Evolution of Writing and Research Services Unit

Created in Summer 2014, the Library’s Writing and Research Services unit provides access to a suite of services that support undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty members in the areas of scholarly writing, publishing, and other critical scholarly communication constructs including copyright and academic integrity. Combined, the undergraduate Writing and Research Centre and the Centre for Scholarly Communication (which serves graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty members) held over 4,000 individual appointments and 90 workshops during the period covered in this report. In addition, many of our undergraduate students benefitted from our partnership with the Point Grey campus and provincial WriteAway consortial initiative to provide online writing support.

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[1] The unique exception is midnight to 2:00am during extended exam study hours, during which time only the Library building remains open.

Implementation of a revised public service model

The Okanagan Library service desk is open at all hours the Library is open[1]; at this service point, Library staff handle over 12,000 questions each year. A librarian remains on-call to provide advanced research assistance between the hours of 10:00am and 5:00pm; in addition, all librarians are available by appointment, and maintain flexible arrangements to accommodate the varied student and faculty schedules that exist on our campus. In 2013-14, librarians conducted nearly 1,000 individual research consultations.

Service Desk Questions Chart

In 2012, separate circulation and reference points were merged into a single service point able to field questions about and provide access to all library services. This move to amalgamate services represented a significant change: staffing models, job responsibilities, and position descriptions were modified for many employees. The development and delivery of a comprehensive staff training program over the past year was essential, and has been highly successful.

A program assessment began in mid-2013 with an internal assessment of staff competencies; in Winter 2015, the Library is planning an external assessment to determine user satisfaction with the current service model. A benchmark for user satisfaction was established in February 2013, both with the Library’s triennial survey and a series of focus groups that specifically examined service provision at the newly configured desk.

Improved access to resources through “just-in-time” collections

The UBC Okanagan Library print and audio-visual collection has the third highest circulation in the UBC Library system with close to 37,000 transactions annually. In 2013-14, the Okanagan Library borrowed just over 6,550 unique items from Vancouver libraries; in turn, the Vancouver campus borrowed 5,550 from us. The UBC Okanagan Library’s physical collection is a robust, active working collection of approximately 209,000 volumes, with reliance on Vancouver primarily for access to multiple copies and deep research collections. Current average turnaround time for print materials ordered from Vancouver is approximately 3-4 working days. We continue to explore ways this timeline could be improved.

Circulation of Print Collections Chart

Today, 78% of UBC Library collections funds are spent on licensing or acquiring electronic resources, which reflects the importance of online learning and research. Loans of physical materials continue to decline while use of electronic content grows, underlining a shift in usage patterns that has been underway for more than a decade.

 

UBC Library Collections Expenditures & Circulation of Physical Items, 2003-2014

UBC Library Collections Expenditures & Circulation of Physical Items, 2003-2014

Across both campuses, UBC Library has adopted an e-preferred purchasing policy, which provides increased online access to materials to both campuses; UBC’s electronic collection contains well over two million items.